If you’re old enough, you remember the days when the best way to cool down your car was to roll down the windows and start driving.
But these days, you lower the temperature of your car with the touch of a button, commanding the interior atmosphere to adjust to your perfect degree of “cool.” Now, air conditioning in your car is standard equipment in the United States. Aren’t you glad about that?
Here’s how air conditioning in your car came to be.
The mind of a great inventor
A mechanical engineer named Ralph Peo from New York spent nine years working in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan where he got to know the “greats” of the industry, including Henry Ford.
Peo moved to back to Buffalo, New York in 1924, but Henry Ford wrote a letter to the President of Houdaille Shock Absorbers. The letter offered him a deal: if he’d hire Peo, Ford would put Houdaille shock absorbers into every new car. The deal was done, and Peo became head of the Buffalo plant.
Ralph Peo was a great inventor who earned 150 patents for his innovations in the automotive industry, most notably, the shock absorber.
The invention of automotive air conditioning
Shock absorbers were not the only thing that Ralph Peo invented. He created numerous patents for equipment that would help keep vehicles cool.
His first “air cooling unit” for automobiles was patented in 1937.
The integration of air conditioning into car manufacture
Packard was the first automobile manufacturer to offer optional air conditioning on 1940 models.
It was an expensive option and was limited to the very wealthy.
The popularization of automotive air conditioning
It wasn’t until after World War II that air conditioning in cars became popular and accessible.
In the post-war boom, people had expendable cash and the car market was skyrocketing. Three major manufacturers, Packard, General Motors, and Chrysler all introduced air conditioning systems as options in 1953. By 1956, every single car manufacturer in America offered air conditioning as an option.
Before the war, only about 3000 cars across the nation had air conditioning.
By the end of the 1950s, more than one million cars included cooling technology.
Today more than NINE MILLION cars are manufactured in America every year, and they all include air conditioning as standard equipment.
The need for air-conditioned vehicles
Your closed car heats up at a rate of more than one degree per minute for the first half hour.
After an hour, the interior of a parked car rises 43 degrees higher than the outside temperature.
That means that even on a mild day of 70 degrees, the interior of a car with the windows rolled up would rise to 113 degrees.
After 90 minutes, the temperature increases by 48 degrees. The interior of some cars has been documented as high as 170 degrees depending on the color, the angle of the sun, and the length of time the windows have been closed.
Cars get so hot because of the amount of glass they include. We love the view, of course, but vehicles have a higher percentage of glass than the average building. On a building, not all of the windows get sun at the same time. All the windows of a car, on the other hand, absorb the heat, causing the temperature to skyrocket.
Air conditioning is a necessity to bring the temperature back down to a safe level.
Advantages of air-conditioned vehicles
When drivers are cool, they are more alert, resulting in improved safety.
Comfortable interior temperatures decrease driver fatigue. (You know how you get sleepy when you’re warm?)
Air conditioners include air filters, which means that the air conditioning in your car is decreasing the amount of dirt and germs that come in from the outside air.
Air conditioning also allows you to close the windows, eliminating the road noise, the wafting air pollution, and the smell of exhaust.
ServiceOne supports air conditioning everywhere!
We can’t help you with your car air conditioning, but we are experts in knowing how best to outfit your home for the coolest temperatures. We understand the importance of air conditioning in a world that’s getting hotter and hotter.
Here in Central Florida, it’s been sweltering this summer, and we are committed to making sure that when your car pulls into your driveway, you have a cool, comfortable home to step into.
We can help you with routine maintenance, emergency repairs, upgrades, new installations, and anything you might need to stay cool.
Call us. You’ll be glad you did.